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Tudors: The History of England from Henry VIII to Elizabeth Iby Peter Ackroyd
Synopses & Reviews
Peter Ackroyd, one of Britains most acclaimed writers, brings the age of the Tudors to vivid life in this monumental book. Tudors is the story of Henry VIIIs relentless pursuit of both the perfect wife and the perfect heir; of how the brief reign of the teenage king, Edward VI, gave way to the violent reimposition of Catholicism and the stench of bonfires under "Bloody Mary." It tells, too, of the long reign of Elizabeth I, which, though marked by civil strife, plots against her, and even an invasion force, finally brought stability.
Above all, it is the story of the English Reformation and the making of the Anglican Church. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, England was still largely feudal and looked to Rome for direction; at its end, it was a country where good governance was the duty of the state, not the church, and where men and women began to look to themselves for answers rather than to those who ruled them.
"The theme of novelist and historian Ackroyd's second title in his projected six-volume history of England (after Foundation) is the 16th-century religious reformation that began, as a dynastic matter, with Henry VIII's divorce from Katherine of Aragon in 1533. While there was neither an Inquisition in England as in Spain, nor the wholesale slaughter of citizens as in France's 1572 St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre, the Reformation in England was marked by upheaval and bloodshed, as the Tudors imposed religious changes upon an initially reluctant populace. Henry VIII, for instance, dealt harshly with critics, ordering the executions of 'a good number of the inhabitants of every town, village and hamlet' that dared join a 1536 popular revolt against the new order. And, while 300 English 'heretics' were burned at the stake during Mary I's four-year reign, earning her the nickname, 'Bloody Mary,' Ackroyd points out that 200 Catholics were executed during Elizabeth I's 45-year reign. While the author focuses on the politics of religious change, this is an accessible account, made even more so by anecdotes revealing the personalities of the main characters (e.g., Henry VIII became so obese that his bed had to be enlarged to a width of seven feet, and Mary Stuart wore crimson underclothes at her execution in 1587)." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Peter Ackroyd is an award-winning novelist, as well as a broadcaster, biographer, poet, and historian. He is the author of the acclaimed Thames: Sacred River and London: The Biography, and the first volume of his history of England, Foundation. He holds a CBE for services to literature and lives in London.
Table of Contents
ContentsList of illustrations vii1. Hallelujah 12. All in scarlet 143. Heretic! 254. The woes of marriage 345. Into court 466. Old authentic histories 627. The kings pleasure 788. A little neck 919. The great revolt 10510. The confiscation 11811. The old fashion 12912. The body of Christ 13913. The fall 14514. War games 15715. A family portrait 16816. The last days 17617. The breaking of the altars 18418. Have at all papists! 19319. The barns of Crediton 20620. The lord of misrule 22221. The nine-day queen 23522. In the ascendant 24523. Faith of our fathers 26224. An age of anxiety 27225. Nunc Dimittis 28126. A virgin queen 28727. Two queens 29728. The thirty-nine steps 31129. The rivals 32530. The rites of spring 33731. Plots and factions 35432. The revels now are ended 37133. The frog 38434. The great plot 40035. The dead cannot bite 41836. Armada 42837. Repent! Repent! 43638. The setting sun 44439. A disobedient servant 45440. The end of days 46341. Reformation 467Further reading 473
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